Accord presidential candidate, Professor Christopher Imumolen has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his decision not to interfere in next year’s general elections.
The president while hosting state governors who are members of his political party, APC in Abuja on Tuesday had made it categorically clear that he would respect the will and wish of the Nigerian people by not trying to influence the outcome of the elections even though his party would be presenting a candidate in Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The president said he was encouraged by recent governorship elections held in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states, saying it had further boosted the people’s confidence in the electoral process.
His position on the elections has since elicited a variety of comments from Nigerians including Professor Imumolen who is easily the youngest candidate in the 2023 presidential race.
Professor Imumolen in his response said the stance of the president on neutrality represents perhaps the biggest victory witnessed in the electoral process in over two decades of the country’s return to democratic rule.
He said such neutrality not only had the tendency to boost the confidence of both the contestants and voting public in the electoral process, it was a major milestone in the sense that it negates now well held stereotypes of incumbents using the instrumentality of state power to influence outcomes of elections.
“I really want to appreciate our command-in-chief, President Muhammadu Buhari for stating that he’d be neutral in next year’s general elections,” Imumolen said on Saturday in an interview.
“What makes his position on non-interference in the elections most remarkable is the fact that he is an interested party. The APC would be presenting a candidate in the elections, and if past antecedents is the yardstick, then we would all naturally believe he’d do anything, including using the security forces and the electoral umpire to sway the results of the elections his way.
“For this, I salute him. Now, Nigerians can be fully assured that their votes will count and all the negative practices of the past will not happen this time.
“Our biggest fear before now has been that the elections will be rigged to favour the party in power. But the president’s recent statement will do a lot clear those fears. Our people, assured that their collective wishes would be respected, will now be confident to throng the 176,000 polling booths all across the country on election day to cast their votes,” he added.
Professor Imumolen also called on the president to complement his stance on neutrality with adequate support to the security personnel that would be deployed across the voting centres on election day.
“Another wish I’d like the president to grant our people is to ensure that the security forces, personnel are well motivated and mobilised to deliver a hitch-free exercise.
“I hope we can trust the president on this? If he indeed honours his words to steer clear of interfering in the elections and allows the best man win, then he will go down in history as the man who really brought about transparent elections in Nigeria.
“What a legacy that would be? When his story would be told to future generations, he shall be known as a champion of democracy despite initially coming from a military background. I know he will not disappoint, though,” he said.
The youthful presidential candidate also commended the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) for cleaning up their acts in such a way as to ensure resounding successes in elections recently held in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun, saying it was a great improvement on elections of the past.
“I will also like to commend INEC for the efficient manner they conducted the governorship elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states.
“I am particularly impressed by the way the results were collated, announced with minimal delay. With their plans to also electronically transmit elections in next year’s general elections, Nigerians are in for the best times of their lives.
“With everything appearing to be in place, I have no doubts whatsoever that a candidate like Professor Christopher Imumolen who is the voice of the people, who has the structure, who believes in raising millions of votes will emerge the winner,” he said.